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and I hope we shall be as good friends as ever.”
And thus the two young friends were reconciled.
But Robert's father felt that justice ought to be done to James, as well as his forgiveness obtained; and so, though it was very painful to him to speak of his son's fault, he told the whole history of the blotted piece to James's parents. They were also very kind, and willingly forgave Robert, and told him, that though it was very wicked to do as he had done, yet, that his having felt sorry for his sin, and his freely confessing it, gave them great hopes that he would still grow up to be a good and honest man.
I shall not say what amends Robert made to his friend, at this time, for the injury he had committed. But he did make full amends for it as far as his own
little stores would go; and his parents kindly assisted him. For a long time, James would not receive the present which Robert had brought with him ; but at last he was persuaded to it by being told that Robert would be grieved, if he continued to refuse.
But there was another trial for Robert. It was necessary that he should take back with him to school the prize which he had gained by deceit; and that his master and all his schoolfellows should hear his confession. Robert's father grieved for him, and would gladly have spared him this trial if he could ; but he felt that it was needful.
We will, however, pass over this part of the story, and only say, that Mr. Deacon received Robert's confession with kindness; and though it was proper that the schoolboys should know how they had
been deceived, the good master told them that the sin had been fully confessed, and that it was his earnest wish that poor Robert should never, in any way, be reminded of what he had done. As to the little writing-desk, the brass plate which had Robert's name upon it was removed from the top, and Mr. Deacon would have had another put on, bearing James's narne instead. But James begged his master not to give it to him; and Mr. Deacon thought it best to comply with this wish. So the desk was put quite out of sight, and was never more seen or heard of by any of the scholars.
Whether another writing prize was given at the next breaking up, or who obtained it, I cannot say. It is of more importance to know that Robert was deeply humbled, and was never afterwards known to be deceitful; that he regained